Below are some basic, yet important running tips from triathlon coach Matt Dymond, designed to assist new triathletes.
By Matt Dymond
- Choosing the right equipment
Choosing the correct shoes is essential to how you’re going to train. Shoes come in all shapes, sizes and colours now so it’s important to get a good tting shoe with support in the right places where you need it. Most running shoe suppliers have the means of lming you walk or jog in the shoe. This will help them recommend a shoe that suits your running gait. Triathletes tend to train with elastic stretch laces in their regular shoes, and these are great for race day but allow for lots of foot movement during training – so stay with normal laces for training.
- Warming up and down
Warming up before a session is critical as this helps let the body know it is about to undergo some stress, and it helps get your heart rate up slowly. It is good to make the warm up approximately 1.2-1.5km with adequate stretching afterwards. Don’t stretch unless you have warmed up sufficiently. Warming down is the same at the end of a run and this can be a jog, slowing down into a walk. This is important for preventing injury. Learn more about returning from running injuries here.
- Consistent running
Consistency means running the same sessions each week. After three to four weeks you will benefit greatly in fitness and endurance. Lots of runners take on too much, their programs get too complicated and they start missing days. A basic run program from a qualified coach can help the athlete stay consistent in training. This will build your base fitness.
Check out Michelle Hemley’s training tips and suggestions for improving your run off the bike here.
- Running too fast
All beginners and novice runners should be able to gauge if they’re running too fast; the easiest way is to see if you can talk whilst running – if you can’t, slow up until you can speak sentences. The last thing you will want to do is be gasping for breath 1km into an 8km run with you friends. That would be way out of your comfort zone.
- Increasing distance
One of the best ways of increasing your weekly running distance is by adding an extra two kilometres per week to your program. This can be done either as a run, jog or even walk. After a few weeks, your distance will grow very quickly. Gradually lifting your kilometres will minimise the risk of injury.
- Keeping motivated
To keep motivated I suggest you set smaller goals like a 2-3km time trial, and set some times. When building for a race these can be repeated every few weeks so you can observe your progress, which will keep you motivated.
As you progress with your running you will soon get bored with the same old runs, so my advice is to change the runs weekly as new scenery is like a holiday. You may choose to run some new trails as these are fun and keep your mind active for the entire run, and it’s also less impact on your body so will reduce injury.
Check out our article on how you can train for running in the mountains, without hills by altering your terrain here.
Or, if you’re looking to dive deeper into the science behind running propulsion and read up on some amazing research recently released on flat, uphill and downhill running head here.
Running technique has been a hotly debated topic over a number of years, but if you’d like to read about what Patrick Oughtred, of Pro Feet Podiatry has to say on the matter, head here.